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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Belgian Jews at Loggerheads Over Israel

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Belgian Jews are at loggerheads as a result of an EU vote to dispatch the UN to Israel on a mission to scrutinize Jewish towns and communities in Judea and Samaria.

Despite increasing detachment between Belgium’s Flemish and French-speaking population, the Jewish community has always maintained a high level of solidarity. Yet when Belgium became one of only two EU countries to vote in favor of a UN-led probe against Jewish life in what they call the “West Bank”, a major split occurred, according to a report by JTA.

Flemish Jews stated they were “shocked and appalled” by the vote, with French-speaking Jews remaining silent, even sending a representative to meet with a Belgian Foreign Ministry official who noted the warmth of Belg-Israeli relations.

In December, the umbrella organization representing Flemish Jews issued a criticism of the umbrella organization representing French-speaking Jews, for honoring a Belgian po9litician who had equated Israel and Nazism.

According to the JTA report, Antwerp Jews, where the majority of Flemish Jews live, tends to be more religious and strong in their support for Israel, whereas Brussels Jews tend to be more liberal, with less than a quarter of the number of Jewish schools.

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About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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2 Responses to “Belgian Jews at Loggerheads Over Israel”

  1. If you look at the numbers… Belgium is the most dangerous place in Europe to be a Jew. You are more likely to be the victim of an antisemitic attack in Belgium than you are in France. So, who can blame them if they think that a little pressure on Israel will ease their situation. It won't help of course.

  2. Sara Nir Branscome says:

    interesting. My Israeli uncle and his Belgian wife immigrated from Israel and live in Belgium. One of their grown kids still live there and the other is in Brooklyn, NY. He loves the USA

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